Pakistan sentences 3 men over politician’s killing in London

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani court Thursday sentenced three men to life in prison after finding them guilty of involvement in the killing of an ethnic party politician stabbed to death in London in 2010, and ruled his killing was ordered by the party chief.

The much-awaited verdict was announced in the capital Islamabad, with the three convicted men — Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali and Mauzzam Ali — listening via video link from a jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The court concluded hearings in the case last month and convictions and sentences for the three suspects were announced Thursday.

The court also issued a warrant for the arrest of Altaf Hussain, who heads the Muttahida Qaumi Movement party, of which Farooq was a senior leader, saying he ordered his killing.

Authorities say Britain helped Pakistani investigators in the murder case of Imran Farooq, who was a top leader of Muttahida Qaumi, which represents the Urdu speaking population.

Farooq had been living in Britain since 1999 after leaving Pakistan to avoid arrest in connection with several legal cases against him in the city of Karachi. He later sought political asylum there.

Pakistani authorities had suspected since 2010 that Hussain — who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since early 1990s — had a role in Farooq’s death and have sought to question him for the past several years.

In a statement, the British Embassy in Islamabad hailed the court ruling.

“The conviction came about after a ground-breaking piece of collaboration between the UK and Pakistan, which allowed evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police to be shared with Pakistani prosecutors and be presented as part of their case,” it said.

Hussain lives in Britain and has denied any role in the killing, saying he was like a brother to him.

But Hussain is known for masterminding the elimination of critics within and outside his party.

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